DStv 'Sambaza’ lowers pay for MultiChoice creatives
7 November 2019
MultiChoice Kenya has decried infringement on its content through illegal connections, popularly known as ‘DStv Sambaza’, with the South Africa-based broadcaster saying the trend is lowering pay for its local content producers.
This comes at a time the company is facing stiff competition from home Internet, digital TV and online streaming sites.
‘DStv Sambaza’ is popular with lower middle class who would rather pay as little as Sh1,000 for unauthorised access to Multichoice’s premium content.
“The situation has made it hard for us to pay our talents adequately at the prevailing market rate. This has really slashed our talents payment rates,” MultiChoice head of public relations and communication Philip Wahome said.
The company taps local content industry for channels such as Maisha Magic East Africa.
The piracy problem is most prevalent in populous residential areas such as Buru Buru, Umoja, Kayole, Donholm and Embakasi with the English Premier League (EPL), the Uefa Champions League (UCL) and the Spanish La Liga content being the most affected.
If you are pirating content on TraceMziki, football or any other channel, the company cannot pay its staff and suppliers well, said Mr Wahome.
Multichoice noted that the illegal connections are also stifling the company’s ability to pump more investments into the Kenyan economy.
“This has a ripple effect on our capacity to remit taxes to the government, which later could be used to support other meaningful projects/initiatives,” Mr Wahome said.
The shared satellite TV signals offers reduced monthly rates compared to MultiChoice’s bouquets that are more expensive to many households.
Mr Wahome welcomed the Kenya Copyright Board’s (Kecobo) recent move of imposing fines of up to Sh100,000 or two years in jail for those found infringing on MultiChoice’s rights.
Through SuperSport International, DStv owns exclusive rights to broadcast the EPL until the 2022 season, making it impossible for competitors to come to it now. It also has rights for Uefa Champions League until 2021 season.
DStv slashed its monthly payments by between five and 30 percent last month. Subscription fees for the cheapest package — Access — is Sh900 a month. Those on Premium, which is the most expensive, pay Sh7,500.